Get started with Search Console
How you use Search Console depends on your role, your site, and your personal needs. Read the appropriate section to get started.
What is your role?
- How does Google Search work? - Read this short guide to understand how Google works.
- Get on Google - See the different ways to get your business or identity on various Google products, including Maps, Search, and YouTube.
- Optimize your site for search engines - Read this six-point guide about making your website more findable and useful to readers.
- Measuring your performance on Google - Is your site on Google? How many people found your site on Google? What is your ranking in search results? What were people searching for when they found your site? Learn how to answer these questions.
- If you think your site needs more help than you can provide, you might consider hiring a professional search engine consultant.
Beginning user (willing to learn)
- Read our guide to basic Search Console usage. A basic user typically needs only a quick site check-up once a month, unless we alert you that we've found a problem.
- Open Search Console with your Google account. Search Console is free; there are no upgrades or paid services. Usage of the product only requires a valid Google account.
- Add and verify your ownership of your site. You'll need to prove that you are the owner of your website, because Search Console shows information about your site that only site owners should know, and allows you to make changes that can affect how your site appears on Google.
- Read our SEO starter guide. This is an introduction to best practices for your website to ensure that Google is able to find, understand, and present your site properly in search results. It contains a lot of information, but you can take your time working through it.
- Decide whether you want to hire an SEO expert. Many small website owners do all their own search engine optimization; in fact, if you read our documentation carefully, you can become an SEO expert yourself! But some small sites (and nearly all large sites) hire a professional SEO expert to help improve their presence on Google. Read this guide if you're thinking about hiring a professional SEO.
If, after learning the basics, you decide that you want to learn more advanced topics in SEO or Search Console, you can follow the SEO track below.
SEO (advanced user)
- Add your site to Search Console.
- Understand the longer story about how Google Search works.
- Be sure that you're familiar with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. This is very important; violating these guidelines can cause your site to be demoted or omitted from search results.
- Learn about best practices for images and video on your site.
- Make sure that your site is mobile friendly, and regularly monitor your site's mobile usability.
- Learn about various search result features for your site, such as AMP and structured-data-implemented features, such as recipes, job postings, and event postings.
- Understand key concepts such as canonical pages.
- Understand how to get Google to crawl the right pages using sitemaps, and how and when to use noindex and robots.txt to prevent Google from crawling pages or resources.
- Learn how to design multilingual or multinational sites for users accessing your site in other languages or from other countries.
- Learn how to use all our reports and tools to analyze your performance and troubleshoot problems.
- Read case studies about websites that have integrated with Google Search.
- Read our blog, attend online office hours, and use our help forum for questions.
- Learn how search works. Understanding the basics of crawling, indexing, and serving is important in order to help you debug Search-related issues on your site.
- Monitor for errors or spikes in the Index Coverage report, Performance report, and Mobile Usability report. If you have AMP pages or rich results, monitor the AMP status report or Rich result status reports, respectively.
- To inspect a single page, either drill down into a single URL from the appropriate report and click Inspect, or use the URL Inspection tool to inspect a specific URL. The URL Inspection tool provides information about all types of issues, including indexing, AMP, mobile usability, HTML, and scripting issues.
- Read the developer documentation for Search to learn about API access to Search Console's tools and reports, structured data guides, AMP in search, mobile best practices, and more.